Earlier today, Transport Topics Online published a news report which revealed the reauthorization of a House of Representatives bill that would allow states the option of allowing heavier trucks on the nation’s roadways. Our Chicago accident lawyers learned that the bill, which was unveiled the morning, would permit large commercial travel for vehicles that may weigh as much as 97,000 pounds despite significant opposition by numerous highway safety law enforcement and railroad groups. However, trucking carriers, as well as, shipping and manufactures show high support for longer, heavier commercial vehicles.
Under current federal law, all states must allow tractor-trailers to haul 28-foot double trailers along the National Highway System. Although, if the transportation bill passes, states will be mandated to permit double, 33-feet long tractor-trailers on the national network and on access highways. The $260 billion, five-year transportation bill is highly associated with another bill in the House of Representatives that would permit the expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling, including drilling throughout Alaska, in order to pay for transportation infrastructure.
Any accident attorney in Chicago will tell you that large commercial vehicles; which include semi trucks, tractor-trailers, as well as, heavy cargo vans account for a significant of traffic-related injuries and fatalities. According to SafeRoads.org, people in passenger vehicles are particularly vulnerable in the event of a collision with a large commercial vehicle given the significant weight difference between passenger vehicles and large trucks. SafeRoads.org also reveals that in two-vehicle crashes involving passenger vehicles and large commercial vehicles, 98 percent of fatalities were the occupants of the passenger vehicle.
Additionally, those large trucks who weigh well over the current federally mandated 80,000 pound weight limit carry a substantial hazard and risk on our roadways. Not only do these larger commercial vehicles take significantly longer to break, they are more prone to rollover accidents, as well as, provide considerable structural damage to bridges and roadways. According to statistics provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large truck-related deaths and injuries each year carry an enormous personal and financial price tag – the cost of large truck accidents in a year exceed $19 billion.
Large truck accidents can be particularly devastating and may cause severe personal injury and even premature fatality. If you have been injured in an Illinois trucking accident – or have lost a loved one at the hands of a negligent semi truck driver, please contact an Illinois accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti to see what legal rights and relief may be available to you.